INTERVIEW: A Chat With Cleopold

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

I chatted to Cleopold about all things Altitude and Oxygen, working with Chet Faker, experimenting with sounds, and his upcoming shows.

Well firstly congratulations on having your debut EP out. 'Altitude and Oxygen' was released last month. How do you feel about having it out?
Thanks! Yeah, it's great, really cool. It's a big achievement to finish something finally! I have been working on it for ages, and it has proven itself to be pretty hard to see something through from start to finish, and it was a big commitment to run with it. The whole process is long and expensive when you don't have any cash...but it feels really good to have it out there.

And is it true that it was recorded in your LA bedroom?
Parts of it yes like the vocals, but it was produced by my friends Jack and Chris from Bag Raiders, they produced beats and helped me structure some things, they worked on it as collaborators, and it was a really good experience, they made it 10 times better than if they weren't involved, if they weren't it probably wouldn't of seen the light of day, so I have them to thank for that.

You are known for being a very open and honest song writer. Is it hard for you to perform such personal work in front of a crowd?
Nah, or well I mean it's hard to perform in general, but um, I like the song so it feels pretty easy to sing them and play them.

What was it like working with Chet Faker again after releasing your EP through his record label?
Good! He is so supportive of everything I do. He let me go on tour with him in Australia last year and that was a good opportunity because I got to play really big venues like the Opera House and Sydney Myer and it was just a trip! He is a friend, and I feel lucky to be able to work with friends, and perform with friends because otherwise, it wouldn't be that fun!

Now you have recently received acclaim for your latest single 'Not coming down', with Triple J loving it and it getting over 250,000 streams on line. How does it feel to know that you are just getting bigger and bigger?
So good! Because these next few songs that I am working on, I am excited about, I reckon that they are the best thing I have ever done, and I just want them to reach there full potential and have as much exposure as possible. I just feel like it would be a real achievement to put something out and it got heard, and people connect with it.

And so with that single 'Not coming down', it features a west-coast-like groove. What is it about the west-coast style that inspired you?
Well it's hard not to feel inspired when your surrounded by colourful buildings, cool communities and you know it's just a nice place to live! The sun is always out! And there is a lot of opportunities for aspiring artists it's a great place to be. 

Are there any particular sounds you would like to experiment with on your new music?
I wanna get it less poppy and more about the sound and production of it, less about the content and more the way it is delivered. I want it to be a less perfectly structured pop song, make it like whatever, just make this vibe that you can latch onto and let it consume you. I want to make music that's more engaging in that sense. 

You have toured around the US recently, and by the looks of your Facebook pics the venues were pretty packed out. Can you tell me more about these shows?
Yeah! We played a headline gig in New York, and that was amazing! I have a lot of friends in New York, and they all came down, it felt like it was my birthday party or something, and that was the first show on the tour, and I was over the moon. We almost missed a show because we had a nap before the gig and the alarm was set for the wrong time. The guy we were staying with was like “aren't you guys starting soon?” and we went straight back to the venue and jumped on stage and it was awesome! So glad we didn't miss it! 

Then we played at 'School Night' which I was excited about. I used to go to it every Monday night and try and meet the guys that run the show. And so then that was pretty cool to get invited to play. We had 600 RSVP's and the room only holds like 350, there was a big line out the front, my Mum was there, and yeah, it was cool!

Oh how exciting!
Yeah and that was the last show of the tour, a great way to finish.

So you are starting a sting of tour dates this month to celebrate the release of your debut album. You are playing in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. What can we expect to see at these shows?
Well I am touring with a drummer and a keyboard player, both good friends of mine. I'm excited for Melbourne, as I have a lot of friends in Melbourne as I went to High School here. And Sydney is going to be fun because Japanese wallpaper is playing before us and hopefully everyone stays!

And so just lastly for you, what do you plan on doing when you do finish this tour?
Going back to the States in September. Then I go to Mexico and do a big festival there which is going to be sick!... I think we are the first band on... but whatever (laughs). Then heading to Europe, then I think we will come back! For heaps of writing and heaps of shows! 

Written by Emily O'Brien

Check out Cleopold at the below shows:

Saturday 13 August - Hugs & Kisses, Melbourne 
Friday 19 August - Cats @ Rocket Bar, Adelaide